Your guide to transoesophageal echocardiogram (TOE) 

Do you have a TOE test coming up? Watch this video to find out what to expect.

Read about diagnosis and risk assessment for heart disease

Transcript of Your guide to transoesophageal echocardiogram (TOE)

BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION THE ROAD AHEAD:YOUR GUIDE TO T.O.E. (TRANS-OESOPHAGEALECHOCARDIOGRAM) This film will show you what to expect if you are having atrans-oesophageal echocardiogram, often called a TOE. My name is Dave. I'm 31and I am an IT support analyst. I've come for a TOE as I'm frequentlyshort on breath and I have chest pains. I thought that I was just unfitand I needed to go to the gym and get some hours in the gym. Little bit nervous. I'm Dr Raj Sharma, ConsultantCardiologist at St George's Hospital. I'm also the director ofcardiac or heart ultrasound. An echocardiogram uses the principleof ultrasound to take a picture of the heart. In a much smaller number of people, they have to swallow a probewith the ultrasound transducer attached so we can look at structuresat the back of the heart which cannot be as easily seenwith the conventional scan. We start by givinga local anaesthetic spray which the patient does finda bit uncomfortable. After this, we do give an injection ofa sedative to calm the patient down and to make them feel a bit more sleepy. I then talk to the patientas I put the probe down because he's still awake. Close your eyesand I'll talk you through it. This is just my finger.This is just to direct me. It's now in the right position. The point that I ask him to swallow,you can see the probe coming down and I can see the picture appearon the machine. The probe has gone in, David.I can see your heart as we speak now. So these pictures allow me to seethe back of the heart in great detail. In particular, I can see the structurethat I was concerned about. I would not be able to seeexactly how big this hole was and also exactly where it was without doingthe trans-oesophageal echo. Look, David.I can see the hole already. I'm going to takea look at that bit first. The procedure itself,once the probe goes in, usually takes no more thanfive to ten minutes. The benefits are huge in thatyou can define what the problem is and plan further management. For the patient, they should not eator drink four hours before the test. Well done.We'll sit you right up now. Afterwards, the throat will feel sorefor three to four hours. But you can eat and drinkafter two hours and then there really areno long-lasting effects at all. The actual procedure wasa lot better than I thought it would be. The prep and the spray, not so good. The probe coming out wasn't pleasant,but it wasn't painful. The result was as I expected. They suggested there wasa hole in the heart so it's not come assomething completely out of the blue. It's... unfortunate.It's something I'll deal with and it's good to get the confirmation. (narrator) Heart disease is stillthe single biggest killer in the UK. But for over 50 years,we've tirelessly pioneered research that has helped transform the lives of people with heartand circulatory conditions. Join our fight forevery heartbeat in the UK. Every pound raised,every minute of your time and every donation to our shopswill help make a difference. BHF THANKS ST GEORGE'S HOSPITALFOR HELP WITH THIS FILM FIGHT FOR EVERY HEARTBEATbhf.org.uk BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION

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